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Warning: As a parody of Ignite this might, shockingly, contain very mild spoilers for Ignite. Also you won't get most of the bloody jokes.

Fire Extinguisher

There were lots of things wrong, and Scorpius didn’t like it. There were things he did like, such as cake and rambling an inordinate amount in a way which was both charming and exposition-y. But he was in a quarantine, so there wasn’t much cake, and it didn’t seem to be an appropriate time to ramble or be charming, because several thousand children were fucking dying.

Really, it was time to have a breakdown and crack under the pressure like any teenager would. But instead he did more irreverent things. Like wander the corridors, consumed by his desperate need to be useful and also hate himself. And, while he was at it, conveniently stop by everyone else to banter needlessly with them, when one would think they had better things to do.

He found Albus stood in the growing sunshine of the sunrise glinting its way silhouettingly across the front steps to the castle. Tall and broad, he was a sheer adonis of a man, which was odd considering none of his family were ever described as physically imposing. Did the Potter have a suspiciously muscular milkman once?

‘Hey, mate.’ Scorpius bounced over and punched him on one of those ripplingly muscular arms. Was there a reason he was always making excuses to touch him? Or were they just friends? Best friends?

‘Hey.’ Albus’ grin faded. ‘You ever wonder if we’re too middle-class to say, “mate,” at each other? Does that make us sound sad and desperate?’

‘Nah.’ Scorpius waved a dismissive hand. ‘My need to piss off my father justifies any and all of my idiosyncrasies.’

‘Sure. But what’s my excuse?’

Scorpius looked him up and down. ‘Maybe that muscular milkman was Cockney. Been up to much?’

‘A little. I found some injured Nifflers down by Hagrid’s hut and nursed them back to health. And I know we all read to sick children because the school’s full of them, but I read to the really sick ones, the ones you all think are too icky to sit with. Then I spent the last hour singing. Small woodland creatures flocked to my side.’

‘Huh. You ever think about using your overpowering goodness to, I don’t know. Help the people immediately around you through their emotional upheaval?’

‘Did you ever think of, I don’t know. Listening to the advice people give you?’

They looked at each other and burst into good-natured laughter, then Scorpius patted him on the shoulder. ‘It’s okay,’ he said. ‘Nobody does listen to you.’

Albus wilted. ‘That was too mean. Why’d you say that?’

Scorpius hesitated. ‘I don’t know. I just wanted to say something witty. You know, so it could be quoted hilariously and out of context later.’

Albus didn’t smile, and Scorpius beat a judicious retreat back into the castle without another word.

Woo!’ shouted Professor Lockett as she staggered out of her room and into the corridor, waving around a bottle of Firewhiskey. ‘I’m the only responsible adult in the school and I’m drunk! Why was I even hired?’

‘To be fair,’ pointed out Scorpius, steering her back towards her bedroom so she could pass out, ‘this is Hogwarts. Irresponsible hiring practices are actually appropriate. And if you were a reliable authority figure, I wouldn’t be able to get away with half of my hijinks.’

She didn’t answer that, because she’d fallen back into bed and was fast asleep. So Scorpius continued.


He spun on the spot to see Methuselah Jones stalking towards him, also very tall. Which was a problem, because Albus was tall, and so was Scorpius, but who was the tallest? Were they all the tallest? Would the universe break if they stood back to back to compare?

‘...studies. Thoughts?’

Scorpius snapped back to reality as he realised Methuselah had been talking and wanted his opinion. Which was a problem, because he hadn’t been listening. But it did mean the excruciating magical technicalities could be usefully glossed over. ‘Huh?’

‘My research. Important. Very. You. Understanding?’

‘Why’re you talking like this?’

‘More relevant: why talk like this at all? Complete sentences too much work for overclocked brain? Why dislike pronouns? Superfluous?’

‘I have my idiosyncrasies,’ said Scorpius kindly, ‘and so do you’’

‘Unless - ah! Could start performing patter-songs. Gilbert and Sullivan -’

‘No!’ Scorpius lifted his hands wildly. ‘You can’t -’

‘I am the very model of a genius wizard Ravenclaw, I know of wand-woods ash, beech, birch, mahogany and sycamore -’


‘My wisdom brings students of all four houses queuing at my door, to hear of Charms, Transfigurations, Ancient Runes and many more!

‘From Hogwarts’ walls to Beauxbatons I have no match that is for sure, I am the very model of a genius wizard Ravencl-argh!’

Which was when Scorpius tackled Methuselah to the floor, hand clamped over his mouth. ‘Don’t,’ he hissed urgently. ‘They’ll realise which character you’re an expy of!’

In the end, Scorpius had to Stun him, tie him up, and leave him in a cupboard. It was best for everyone, really.

Then he carried on his rounds. But there was only one more place for him to go, one more person for him to see, and Scorpius’ heart began to pound so hard in his chest he thought it might, just maybe, begin to melt that ice deep within him, like a frozen lump of ice.

He found Rose where he always found her, down in the dungeons. She’d fallen asleep on her research, red hair wild, face smudged with ink. She snored faintly as she slumbered, and drooled a little. Scorpius just stared at her, entranced.

Then he walked to her intricately-stacked papers, complete with little colour-coded post-it tags, and knocked the entire pile to the floor. It crashed like crashing paper.

‘Whuzzat -’ Rose started awake, then blinked owlishly, looking from the fallen papers and up to him. ‘Why did you do that?’

Scorpius shrugged. ‘I live to get a reaction out of you, Weasley.’

‘I was sleeping. You just knocked my stuff over. For no good reason. You arse.’

He perched on the desk next to her and grinned. ‘I know. Isn’t it endearing?’

‘I was up all night working on this!’ Rose rose to her feet, which is something that would be written more if her name weren’t Rose, thus cutting off all access to a very useful verb. ‘There was a lot to study about the way these magic rituals -’

‘What even is a magic ritual; I just thought we waved our wands and even massively complicated and permanent spells happened in the blink of an eye -’

‘They have roots! Anglo-Saxon wizards perfected them during the reign of Alfred the Great, using them in warfare against the magical contingent of the Great Heathen Army -’

‘Since when did you know about magical history?’

Rose stuck her nose in the air. ‘Matthias Doyle’s still unconscious until the sequel, so I have to do the historical exposition or people will forget someone did a lot of research. But you!’ She stabbed a finger at him. ‘You just waltz in with your smirks and your hair and your ruining everything!’

‘Careful.’ He lifted his hands. ‘You’re using an awful lot of italics again, we talked about this -’

‘I don’t have to do what you tell me!’ She stepped in, eyes flashing, hair going absolutely everywhere, so wild he wanted to reach out and tame it but wasn’t sure where to even start.

But he realised just how close she was, right in front of him, and she seemed to reach the same conclusion at the same time. There was a moment, just a moment where he thought about leaning down, brushing that anger from her face just as she could melt the icy fortresses of frozen icy cold loneliness buried deep inside him -

Then something, somewhere, exploded. Not metaphorically; like, literally exploded, like a bomb going off, all loud and boom. Which was just as well, else their sexual tension might have got resolved.

Rose jumped back as if stung. ‘What was that?’

* *

‘This is stupid!’

Scorpius ducked flying rubble and fumbled for his wand. ‘What is?’

‘I don’t know,’ snapped Selena Rourke. ‘Because we’re starting in the middle of a scene. I suppose that skips all the annoying lead-up bits, but it means I have no idea what’s going on -’

‘Someone’s trying to kill us,’ said Scorpius helpfully. ‘Someone’s always trying to kill us. You’d think they don’t like us, or something.’

‘Maybe it’s because you’re a glib prick in the face of danger.’ Selena was hunkered behind cover as spells flew wildly across the Great Hall, whose wall had just been exploded. In the middle stood the mysterious dark wizard responsible, Rose and Albus locked in battle with him. It was very impressive, consisting almost entirely of silent casting, except for when new, unusual spells were spoken out loud.

‘It’s how I mask my pants-wetting terror and remain roguishly charming.’

Selena pointed towards the door. A big, red fire extinguisher sat on a hook next to it. ‘You could run screaming. That would be smart.’

‘Why don’t you?’

‘Because it’s my job to be the unexpected voice of common sense! Like, are we dealing with a virus? We keep calling it that; I don’t think we know what “virus” means. It’s a disease, sure, but we also call it a plague -’

‘A wizard bloody did it and could you shut up and fight?’

‘No!’ snapped Selena. ‘Because I’m sixteen and this is some diabolical, world-ending plot that’s come from nowhere and is trying to murder me! I’m going to stay here! In cover!’

Then the dark wizard let loose a spell that sent Rose and Albus flying. They hit the ground, hard, and didn’t move.

Scorpius swore under his breath, and tightened his grip on his wand. ‘Guess it’s down to me.’

Selena, still hidden, rolled her eyes. ‘For some ungodly reason.’

He stood, heart thudding so hard in his chest he almost couldn’t hear. But he had to say things, brave things, witty things, and he couldn’t do that if he couldn’t hear his opponent, so it wasn’t quite that loud.

The mysterious dark wizard turned to face him. ‘So. It comes down to you and me after all, Malfoy.’

Scorpius bit his lip. ‘Um. There’s not much I can riff on there. Could you try that again?’

But before either could cast a spell, Albus appeared as if from nowhere and hit the dark wizard over the head with a fire extinguisher. He collapsed into a bundle of black, evil robes.

Scorpius rounded on Albus. ‘Weren’t you unconscious?’

Albus shrugged. ‘Yeah. But then I saw you were in trouble, so I managed to fight through it. Endangered loved ones can, apparently, motivate you to overcome anything. Even internal bleeding.’

‘Huh.’ Scorpius looked at the fire extinguisher. ‘I thought the title was going to be a metaphor.’

Rose stood up, rubbing her head. ‘Where did you even get that?’

Albus shrugged. ‘Selena pointed at it about a minute ago. That counts as foreshadowing, right?’

‘I don’t care,’ said Selena, standing with her hands on her hips. ‘I just want this dark wizard to not be a problem any more. Why is he here? Why’d he attack us? What does he want?’

Rose’s lips thinned. ‘That,’ she said, ‘might be something we never get answered -’

‘No!’ Selena stamped her foot. ‘I refuse to wait for another chapter or, Merlin forbid, a sequel before anything gets explained around here! Use Legilimency! Veritaserum! I don’t care! Just resolve the plot!’

‘Oh, Selena.’ Scorpius grinned toothily and threw his arm over Rose’s shoulder, because with all of their near-death experiences she’d forgotten she was angry with him. ‘That would be helpful. So we’re not going to do that.’ He laughed and figured that if they just stuck together, all good friends, things might be sort of okay.

Except for the hundreds of dying people and mysterious dark wizard attacks and entirely untrustworthy authority figures. But those were a problem, it seemed, for another day.


A/N: So Alfred the Great was an Anglo-Saxon king from YOU DON’T CARE but this is an overly long author’s note giving you all the insight into the historical research which went into this chapter.

Which is kind of flawed because this parodies Ignite more than anything else, and Ignite predated the Stygian Trilogy’s historical jaunts. Consider it a bonus treat for those who stuck with the series.

On a legitimate Author’s Note point, Methuselah’s song is a parody of the Major General’s Song from Pirates of Penzance, an operetta by Gilbert & Sullivan. This is a reference to a reference, as it’s a nod to how Methuselah Jones was originally inspired by the character Mordin Solus from the Mass Effect trilogy (who sings his own version of the song), as some readers have clocked in the past.

Also writing the song was stupidly fun and I kind of wanted to compose more...

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